When Caring Looks Like Controlling

If a fellow has an app on his phone that tells him where his wife’s phone is at all times, is he controlling? Might he be abusive?

If a husband expects to know where his wife is and who she is with 24/7, is he a danger to her?

When Caring Looks Like Controlling

Those things alone don’t make a man controlling, abusive, or manipulative. Many men do these things because they care about their wives and about her safety. If a man can track his wife’s phone and she fails to come home in a bad snow storm, he can tell where she is – or where she was when her phone stopped working. Where I live that bit of information could literally save the woman’s life.

I think men have a built in need to protect their wife and children. It’s very much like the need mothers have to protect their children. In our modern world, that instinct may exceed the real threats, but that doesn’t make it abusive or wrong. What you may see as controlling could be him showing his concern. 

By the way, most husbands worry about their wives far more than women realise. We feel we should be protecting her, and we can’t do that when we’re not with her. A reasonable man learns to let his wife be apart from him, but he may still worry until she’s back at his side. 

~ Paul – I’m XY, and yeah, I worry about Lori more than I “should”.

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11 Comments on “When Caring Looks Like Controlling

  1. a number of years ago my husband was deployed in “the sand box”. At the time Google maps allowed tracking with permission and my hubby could follow me around while he was gone. He knew I liked to take long walks alone and it not only helped him see that I was safe but helped him feel connected. It wasn’t unusual for us to send the occasional text during those walks. Not long after he came home Google ended that tracking feature. But it came back a few months ago and yes, we track each other. No, I don’t feel controlled or stalked. I feel loved.

  2. My wife has PTSD so I keep a close eye on what goes on. She has a history of being bullied which hurts immensely for her. I watch her Facebook carefully to make sure no one is giving her a hard time. If anyone does, I think there’s an unwritten rule on Facebook. “Everyone sit back and pop some popcorn and enjoy the show because when someone goes after Nick’s wife, there won’t be any mercy on his part.”

    Yep. No one goes after my Princess. NO ONE!
    Nick Peters recently posted…Book Plunge: Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, Second EditionMy Profile

  3. There’s a big difference between having a tracking device on each other’s phones (why just the wife’s phone??) that could potentially be life saving, and grabbing your wife’s phone and writing down all the phone numbers she has called that day and calling them back to see who she was talking to.

    And also, the need to know where your wife is 24/7 can certainly be controlling and abusive if a husband does not believe his wife when she tells him where she was or what she did during the day. In a healthy marriage both spouses usually communicate about where they are going or what they did during their day if apart and there isn’t unnecessary questioning on either part.
    Amy recently posted…Speaking loveMy Profile

    • @Amy – I didn’t say just her phone. Lori and I have a family app on our phones that allows either of us to see where the other is.

      These are the kinds of things many controlling and abusive men do, but in and of themselves they are neither.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…A Few Kind WordsMy Profile

      • “These are the kinds of things many controlling and abusive men do, but in and of themselves they are neither.”

        Yep, I know all about abuse, and that’s why I wrote what I did to distinguish between having an app on each other’s phones to ensure safety and using it to track her every move. Or having to know where the other is 24/7 which honestly I believe is fine in marriage until it crosses that line of one spouse not believing the other and possibly interrogating their spouse.
        Amy recently posted…Speaking loveMy Profile

  4. My husband wouldn’t like that. He won’t let me have a certain social media app because he has it. I, on the other hand, have another social media venue that he does not. He does look over my shoulder and questions what I type, but he isn’t keen on me looking over his shoulder. However, i do have access to his phone and he mine.

    He is also fond of just disappearing for a while. Sometimes, he just gets in his car and leaves, coming back hours later with little to no details. It sounds suspicious, but usually I find out randomly later that he was doing a job for someone or visited. The visitee or employer will see me later that week and say, “tell your husband thanks!”

    I have discovered that the more worried or upset I am about it, the more he does it and the less he divulges. If I act like I don’t care, he is more apt to at least let me know.

    He believes that even in marriage a certain amount of self and autonomy is good. He has aspects of his life I am not entirely privy to, and there are aspects if my life he doesn’t really want to be privy to.

    All of this, I am sure, comes from the broken home in which he grew up.

    • Google maps allows it. You can set it for 30 minutes or until you turn it off. Now went then it reminds you to see if you still want it on.

  5. I’m all about this…if it goes both ways. Not just the man tracking the woman. If it’s onesided, then yes, I’d be very concerned this is controlling. What’s good for one should be good for the other. And if it’s not, then there’s a warning sign, in my book. I’m sorry to be a jerk, Paul, but how do men think we women lived before we got married, if this is how they view us? We are not children here, and most of us did take care of ourselves for some time before we found husbands.

    • @Alicia – I have no problem with it going both ways if the wife wants that. I suspect fewer women care, but I could be wrong.

      As for the other, it’s not about that, which was the whole point of this post. It’s not about control or thinking one’s wife is helpless or immature. It’s how we express our concern and love.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…A Few Kind WordsMy Profile

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